It’s hard to believe that it’s been over a year since Light on Life by B.K.S. Iyengar was released. In 2005, NPR interviewed Iyengar to discuss the physical and mental benefits of yoga. If you haven’t heard the interview, take a minute to listen to the words of one of yoga’s foremost pioneers. In the article that accompanies the interview, Iyengar discusses how yoga is more than just physical motions (the quote is actually from the book):
The practice of yogasana for the sake of health, to keep fit, or to maintain flexibility is the external practice of yoga….While this is a legitimate place to begin, it is not the end… Even in simple asanas, one is experiencing the three levels of quest: the external quest, which brings firmness of the body; the internal quest, which brings steadiness of intelligence; and the innermost quest, which brings benevolence of spirit…Often, we hear people saying they remain active and light when they do just a little bit of asana practice. When a raw beginner experiences this state of well-being, it is not merely the external or anatomical effects of yoga. It is also about the internal physiological and psychological effects of the practice.